St. Mary’s girls ‘charm’ their way to business success

Every year students from St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow never fail to impress with new and innovative ideas as part of the transition year mini-company programme. Under the guidance of business teacher, Ms Dineen, the 2013 crop of bright young entrepreneurs have developed the idea of ‘LifeBands’. According to the group’s website: ‘LifeBand is a stylish medical charm bracelet. Its unique charms each symbolise common health concerns and allergies in Ireland’. In September the students began with their idea generation. In the beginning, they came up with a number of possibilities. However, after some of the girls attended a directors’ day in the Charleville Park Hotel and received advice from business people and fellow entrepreneurs, it was decided to move forward with the idea of ‘Life-bands’. The group discussed problems they experienced in everyday life, to see if they could find a solution. Also, they looked at ideas that were already successful, so they could take inspiration from them. During their brainst-orming session one of the girls mentioned that her sister had a lot of allergies. The whole group took to this issue and started thinking about what could be done to develop a product in this area. The group also discussed the success of the Pandora Bracelet. ‘LifeBands’ were born as a combination of these two areas.

The unique selling point of the ‘LifeBands’ is that in the event of an emergency where a person is unable to communicate the details of their medical condition or allergy, the bracelets will inform medical professionals accordingly. They are also really cool to wear! The bracelets are made from plaited leather. They are available in small, medium and large. They are also available in a wide range of colours. The charms currently available are for Lupus, Penicillin, Diabetes, Peanuts, Asthma, Vegetarian, Dairy, Coeliac and Epilepsy. The bracelets cost €3 and the charms cost €2.50, or €5 if you buy a bracelet and a charm at the same time. To raise start-up capital, the group held a bake sale in the school. Fellow students were also given the opportunity to buy shares in the company. When it came to finding a supplier the group tried to find an Irish supplier but when they were unable to find one they had to source an overseas alternative.

Caoimhe O’Brien (Managing Director, ‘LifeBands’), notes that: “Mini-Company is definitely a worthwhile challenge. At times it does become stressful and overwhelming but it is worth doing if you get the chance. The process gives a good insight into how a business is run for people considering a future as an entrepreneur”. Another student involved in the project, Joanne Moloney, said: “It has been a real learning curve being involved in mini-company, we’ve experienced difficu-lties but we always find a way around them.”

The in-demand bracelets have been selling succes-sfully to students in the school canteen over the past few weeks. For the general public the bracelets can now be purchased at Horgan’s Pharmacy as well as the new Boots store. Get yours while stocks last! The girls can be contacted directly through their e-mail address, For more information check out the girls stylish new website: